Taylor Swift has spoken publicly again about the decision to remove her catalogue from Spotify, emphasising that it’s all about the lack of separation between its free and premium tiers. “I think there should be an inherent value placed on art. I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify. Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things. They keep running towards streaming, which is, for the most part, what has been shrinking the numbers of paid album sales,” she told Time. “With Beats Music and Rhapsody you have to pay for a premium package in order to access my albums. And that places a perception of value on what I’ve created. On Spotify, they don’t have any settings, or any kind of qualifications for who gets what music.” You could say the same thing about YouTube Music Key, though, and Swift’s albums are available there. But the deeper question is whether Spotify’s 12.5m paying users suggest that it’s exactly the lack of settings/qualifications on its free service that is proving to be a better driver of paid subscriptions than rivals like Beats and Rhapsody.

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